TILT & TILEC Workshop on the Data Act
An online workshop organised by the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) & the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)
TILT and TILEC are hosting an online workshop in the afternoons of 3 and 4 October 2022 to bring together academics, policymakers and industry representatives for a discussion of the legislative proposal for a Data Act. The expectations of the Data Act to create a fair, competitive and innovative data economy are high. The workshop aims at exploring whether the current text of the Data Act can meet these expectations and what pitfalls needs to be considered during the further legislative process.
- Anna Ludin, Data Policy Unit, DG CNECT, European Commission
- Damian Boeselager, Member of the European Parliament and shadow rapporteur for the Data Act
Participation is free of charge and open to all.
Monday 3 October 2022
Welcome and introduction of the opening keynote by Inge Graef, Associate Professor, TILT & TILEC, Tilburg University
Opening keynote on the background and rationale of the Data Act by:
Panel on Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) data sharing
Inge Graef, Associate Professor, TILT & TILEC, Tilburg University
|Panel on Business-to-Government (B2G) data sharing
Thomas Tombal, Postdoctoral researcher, TILT & TILEC, Tilburg University
Brief conclusions of day 1 by Thomas Tombal, Postdoctoral researcher, TILT & TILEC, Tilburg University
Tuesday 4 October 2022
|Panel on Cloud services, interoperability and standardization
Bertin Martens, TILEC, Tilburg University
|Panel on the Coherence between the Data Act and other data regulations (including GDPR, DMA, DGA, sectoral data spaces)
Inge Graef, Associate Professor, TILT & TILEC, Tilburg University
|Brief conclusions of day 2 and introduction of the closing keynote by Bertin Martens, TILEC, Tilburg University
Closing keynote on the ambitions of the European Parliament for the Data Act by :
Damian Boeselager, Member of the European Parliament and shadow rapporteur for the Data Act
The workshop is divided in four sessions (75 minutes each), spread out over two afternoons (14-17h), plus an introductory and closing keynote session (30 minutes each). Each session covers a main theme of the Data Act. The first afternoon focuses on Business-to-Business/Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Government data sharing. The second afternoon looks at interoperability issues in relation to cloud switching and the interplay between the Data Act and other EU data regulations.
Each session has three speakers: a lawyer, an economist and a consumer/industry representative. Speakers briefly present their opinion on the relevant features of the Data Act (10-15 minutes each), leaving ample time (30-45 minutes) for discussion among speakers and to respond to questions from the audience. The speakers are not expected to give an overview of the Data Act; they discuss the pros and cons of what they consider to be the most relevant provisions.
The workshop is set within the Digital Legal Studies research initiative, which is funded through the Law Sector Plan of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).
Digital Legal Studies is a collaboration between Tilburg University, the University of Amsterdam, Radboud University Nijmegen, and Maastricht University that aims to stimulate pioneering research in the area of law & technology.
In February 2022, the European Commission presented to the European Parliament and Council a regulatory proposal “On harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act)” (COM(2022) 68 final). This proposal is part of a package of data policy proposals announced by the European Data Strategy (2020) that includes the Digital Markets Act (DMA, 2020), Data Governance Act (DGA, 2021), and various sectoral data regulations.
The Data Act covers several distinct domains of data regulation. Chapters I – IV cover Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) access to data. The main objective of these chapters of the DA is to introduce new access rights to personal and non-personal data for users of hardware “products”, often labelled as Internet-of-Things devices. This can be considered as an extension and operationalization of data portability provisions under the GDPR (2018). However, the DA also extends portability rights to non-personal data and to users who are not data subjects. The Data Act rejects the notion of data ownership rights for any of the data co-generating parties. At the same time, it introduces quasi-IPR like rights to remuneration for product manufacturers and de facto data holders, though monopolistic data pricing is attenuated by fair pricing provisions.
Chapter V contains proposals for Business-to-Government (B2G) data sharing. In line with the recommendations of the Expert Group on B2G data sharing (2020), it grants governments access to data collected by businesses, subject to restrictive conditions. It introduces the possibility for government to by-pass market-conform public procurement procedures to get access to data.
Chapter VI contains provisions to facilitate switching between cloud services providers. Chapter VIII introduces proposals regarding interoperability in the area of cloud services. These should create more competition in the provision of cloud services by imposing stronger obligations on cloud service providers, as the self-regulation approach promoted by the Free-Flow of Non-Personal Data Regulation seems to have been insufficient to address the key lock-in issues in those markets.
The DA introduces major new data rights. So far, data access and portability rights existed only for natural persons to their personal data, and in specific sectoral settings such as electricity consumption and car maintenance data. The DA introduces a horizontal access right across all sectors, for personal as well as non-personal data and for all types of product users, both natural persons and legal entities. Interaction and coherence between the horizontal Data Act and other more pieces of EU data regulation (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Digital Markets Act (DMA), Data Governance Act (DGA) and various sectoral regulations) may become an issue. Two new sectoral data regulation initiatives by the European Commission (a review of data access provisions in the Automotive Type Approval Regulation and the European Health Data System) are expected to test that coherence. The introduction of government access rights to private sector data is also a major novelty that may eventually affect EU policy initiatives to create sectoral data pools.
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the potential impact of these new data access rights. The design features and option chosen by the authors of the DA are likely to have an important impact on future developments in the data economy. Data access rights and conditions shape the development of data-driven services, including competition and innovation in the services in the affected sectors. They will affect the growth and competitiveness of the EU economy, also with respect to other regions in the world. It is therefore timely to have an in-depth discussion on these likely impacts, before the trilateral interactions between European Commission, Parliament and Council will decide on the final design of the Data Act.
The European Parliament will start a debate on the Data Act proposals in the autumn of 2022. The lead committee in the EP, the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee, nominated a rapporteur (MEP Pilar Del Castillo Vera, EPP, Spain) and her report is due before the end of the year. This workshop intends to contribute to the academic and policy debate on the Data Act.
TILT and TILEC are well-placed to contribute to this debate at the intersection of law & technology and law & economics perspectives.